10 Tips to Help Make the Most of Your Holiday Season
Are you ready for the holiday season? ENJOY it this year by doing a little planning to make it easier to manage your budget.
Create a budget for all gifts by family member/friend and dollar amount…AND stick to it! Add a 20% buffer because you and I are growing wiser (older) and we forget to account for some of our friends and family.
|Take advantage of online shopping so you’re not tempted by miscellaneous purchases or other expenses that are associated with physical shopping trips like gas, food, entertainment and especially impulse buys!
|Develop hand-crafted, personalized gifts and creative pieces to give in lieu of more expensive items.
Have something near and dear to your heart that you know someone on your list would love? Gift your own prized possessions to your loved ones.
Invite guests to participate in family activities both in person and by way of monetary contributions. One idea: make Thanksgiving a potluck holiday with family and friends. It’s fun, it’s participatory and it spreads the costs over a larger base of earners. If you are going to someone else’s home, you should ask if you can help with anything as well. Pay it forward when you can!
Plan for extreme weather by ensuring you are minimizing utility expenses when you have the opportunity.
Use Group Gift exercises to ensure you don’t have to buy for a large volume of recipients. I have a large family and with 20 members, we simply pick a name from a hat and we are responsible for buying that one person a nice gift.
Avoid running up your credit cards or other debt on numerous purchases. It feels good during the purchase, but you will pay substantially more in interest and fees due to those purchases and the payments will extend significantly beyond the holidays.
If time permits, look at holiday income opportunities. Retail shops, specialty services and various other businesses and organizations have peak volumes and are always looking for temporary help. This is a good way to supplement your income and curb the added holiday expenditures.
Set up a savings account and establish a holiday fund for this year, or better yet NEXT year! Imagine putting $20 away each paycheck, starting at the beginning of the year. If you get paid bi-weekly, you’ll have $500+ available come the holidays! Often you can do this through your employer, or your financial wellness platform sponsored by your employer.